Miami, January 19. The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday declined to challenge a challenge to an outdated state law that bars local officials from passing gun control regulations, a move by more than 30 cities and counties to the highest court after the deadly Parkland shooting in 2018. The matter was brought up.
Reflecting on the majority decision, Judge Ricky Polston wrote in a 25-page document, “The legislature has not created a central municipal act to take over the area, and local governments have no discretion or legal authority, which violate the priority of the state. (5-1) issued by the state Supreme Court this Thursday.
Since 1987, local governments in Florida have been prohibited from passing any gun regulations that are stricter than current state firearms laws.
Later, in 2011, another law reinforced its predecessor with fines of up to $5,000 for enforcing new gun regulations at the city or county level.
But after the 2018 mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, more than 30 cities and counties and dozens of local officials challenged the 2011 rule.
In 2021, the Florida First District Court of Appeals upheld the law, prompting cities and counties to turn to the state Supreme Court.
The case stems from three lawsuits filed by various cities and counties, including Gainesville, Tallahassee, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach and St. Petersburg.
Although not related to the 1987 law, the challenge argues that the restrictions enacted in the 2011 law are unconstitutional.
Last June, Florida Supreme Court justices heard arguments in the case against the state led by Democrat Nikki Fried, former commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The President of the Supreme Court, Charles Kennedy, then pointed to a specific line of the Constitution that established that local governments could exercise power “except as provided by law”.
“Our cases are very clear about the supremacy of the legislature in this area. So this whole case is a little puzzling to me, because what the underlying legislature has done is this clear constitutional provision,” Kennedy said.
This Thursday’s decision was a “hard blow” to 33 cities and counties, and dozens of local officials who argued that the 2011 law’s restrictions were unconstitutional, according to local media CBS4.
He says it’s a victory for state Republican leaders and Second Amendment advocates like the National Rifle Association (NRA). efe